Festival Review: Lords of the Land 2017, Glasgow Barrowlands

There has been a major uprise when it comes to independent festivals and events recently, some catering to the underground and others showcasing the best of the big names. Lords of the Land present an event filled to the brim with some of extreme metal’s most iconic names spanning from such acts as Mayhem and Venom Inc, others including the mighty Memoriam and Acid Reign, but tonight after 27 years we see the return of one of death metal’s most iconic names – Autopsy.

Tonight we celebrate the violent, crushing and of course, destructive acts that we know as we enter the gates to the holy land of black and death metal, with this year’s installment of Lords of the Land.

Arriving minutes after their due set time we see Rotten Sound take the stage bringing with them a strong and vicious sound which wakes the Scottish crowd and helps to bring forth the mood for the evening ahead of us. Rotten Sound have brought a set of songs that showcase the best in what they do: old school grind with an element of their own giving it a certain sound and strength that really gets the crowd ready and raring for a good time.

Being their first UK set since their one-off Birmingham date we see the mighty Memoriam return with the release of their new record For the Fallen. With this being said we see the band bring a full-on Memoriam set for fans both new and old to experience here at the Barrowland Ballroom. In the past the band have always brought what they have to the table, showcasing songs new and old which represent each of the band members’ position in the scene. Tonight, though, we see the band play only a Memoriam set; showing fans that they are not a cover band but in fact the new war machine ready to let loose. It can be said that war tonight has surely raged on and will continue to rampage across the country with the years to come.

A band that makes every show a main spectacle… we see the British legends themselves, Acid Reign, bring what can only be described as a moshing good time for all here in the Barrowland Ballroom, but what can one always expect from these guys when seeing them live? Well, simply put, we see a band that incorporates everything you would need in a classic thrash act – and then some! This is really a band you can have a great time with and always be assured you will feel better from after the process of the pit. Whenever you get the chance, be sure to check these guys out as it is a guarantee that nothing compares to the day after an Acid Reign show when the bruises start to show.

From previously seeing Dragged Into Sunlight play the Manchester Academy two days before this event, it can be said that this is a band to keep a very close eye on for the future. They incorporate lights and smoke in a way that matches with their macabre but very interesting stage decorations. We see the band bring an element into the black metal genre by showing new fans and fans who have been with the band for years an event of pure extremity the likes of which you will not see often.

One thing that stands out about this band though will have to be the use of their space on stage. I refer, of course, to the fact that the band play with their backs facing the audience. Now some may find this to be rude or arrogant, but when seeing them live you get the feeling that they are with us in the sense that they are facing towards their altars… as if we were on stage with them, in a weird but wonderful sense. This now makes the atmosphere more intense and create a pure creative moment for us all.

Maintaining the sound, style and approach of the legacy we see Venom Inc. take center stage and bring to fans old and young a taste of classic Venom material. Performed vocally by the Demolition Man himself, Tony Dolan, showcasing hard and raw vocals and mixed with the thunderous roar of his immense bass tone; followed by Mantas on guitars showcasing the riffs that made the Venom name so legendary; and of course the man capable of such raw, face melting beats – Abbadon on drums. For many this is exactly what they are at Lords of the Land for. Tonight we see the legends bring to Scotland a pure taste of being welcomed to Hell!

One of two bands tonight playing a set based on a legendary album, we have the black metal monsters that are Marduk. For many it will be their first time, for some it will be of course among many shows that they’ve seen the band play, but tonight may be a little different. For tonight we see the band play a special UK set of Heaven Shall Burn, celebrating the album which was originally released in 1996.

When it comes to a band performing a full length exclusive we normally see a lot more things on stage to make it feel like the album itself is part of the set, but when it comes to Marduk it’s all about the sound and the ambience. Tonight we see the black metal legends in a way we have never seen them before. By really taking us all on a trip back in time to the early era of the genre, but what else could we ask for besides the band playing this incredible album? Well, you add Primordial’s vocalist Alan Averill! For many this was a delightful surprise as they would see two giants on one stage. The set brought new fans to the band as well as giving a great experience to the older fanbase.

When it comes to the sound and style that Primordial bring, it can be said that it is truly unique. As always we see a band that carries itself strongly in terms of how they are able to create a moment in which their sound and their ideas may flourish upon tonight’s audience and be remembered long after the final pint is downed and the trip home complete. We see the band bring a set that, as always, brings something new for every fan. As it is with Primordial’s legacy it is filled with material that spans through much of the band’s best, showcasing a sound that is unforgettable while also making sure to give the crowd a roaring good time for all.

Celebrating the album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas we see Mayhem bring their tour to the Scottish venue for what is sure to be a set to remember. Tonight has shown us that most of the festival’s talents have brought special one-off’s to perform for fans exclusively in this one location. For tonight’s Mayhem show we will see the pure embodiment of what makes this band what they are today.

The band’s set starts with a heavy fog being poured into the venue, giving us the idea of a dark dead grave being prepared for one’s end. With stage props including banners of images of stone angels and tombstones we certainly get the idea behind the band’s stage set up and just what they have prepared for the audience.

It can be said that Mayhem bring a strong stage presence which has, over the years, grown into the iconic image which they portray today. The band play this classic record through wrapped in dark cloaks which give us this haunting image that spreads within the smoke.

We come to the night’s final band, a band that helped form some of death metal’s most glorified, most intense and even most psychologically creative music that the scene had ever seen. Tonight we see the 27-year long wait end with a headline show to beat em all. Tonight we welcome Autopsy.

From the very start we saw the crowd preparing for what was going to be pure utter chaos in the best way possible. Fans readying themselves for the moment that the band would kick in and tear apart the floor and open the paths to mayhem,. What does an Autopsy show mean to this audience tonight? Quite a lot going by the near-tangible excitement.

Autopsy bring a selection of classics and some of their latest material from Skull Grinder. We witness a show that makes the long wait worth it for these Scottish fans. Autopsy are a band that without whom  we would not have what we have in today’s death metal scene, trying new things and ideas that blend in such a way that they create an uncontrollable monster set of pure devastation.

Worthy headliners for an incredible day’s entertainment. The crowd depart bruised, battered, with ears ringing… and big smiles plastered on their faces.

Photos by Bukavac Photography

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